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Vicar of Morwenstow 3: 2 November

M141102aAnd there we are, another Halloween flitting past cackling on a witch’s broom, and no one so much as knocked at our door; for once I was rather disappointed, as I’d come up with a clever plan for lighting the house involving a captive trick-or-treater, a treadmill, a generator and a chocolate orange on a fishing line just out of reach; but then, life is full of disappointments.

I was on holiday last week, but it wasn’t the weather for doing much out of doors; on even the rare fine days the wind made it feel like you were standing slightly too close to a nuclear test site. Other days it rained (if you don’t live in the far north of Scotland, to understand the effect ask a friendly fireman to play his water jet over you next time a warehouse catches fire in a hurricane).

SM141102bo all things considered, it’s not a surprise that I got a lot of knitting done (I also drank a lot of tea, mind you; I can multitask with the best): I’ve finished the body of the gansey and started the patterned yoke, as well as the gussets. It’s a simple pattern, so simple that even I can keep track of it without notes, yet the plain segments stand out like geometric fields seen from the air. I’m very pleased with the colour, too, which shows up the pattern most effectively.

VicMorIncidentally, the pattern appears in Mary Wright’s book and Michael Pearson’s, but is charted differently in each—Michael Pearson has the purl segments comprising solid blocks of purl rows, whereas Mary Wright has alternating purl and knit rows; I’ve decided to follow the latter, as this seems to be closer to the original photographs.

It’s just a short blog this week, as I’m still in holiday hibernation mode (in fact going back to work this morning hit me like a brick wrapped in a gansey knit sock), but there’s just time to offer congratulations to Jane on her splendid Child’s Guernsey Duffle Jacket” from “Traditional Knitting in the British Isles” by Gywn Morgan (published by Ward Lock, London, 1981), which you can view here. And, of course, the bonus of knitting for the very young is that you get to have another go every couple of years!

And now at Reid Towers all we have to do is try to work out what to do with all those piles of chocolates we bought in for Halloween, “just in case”—oh, wait…

9 comments to Vicar of Morwenstow 3: 2 November

  • Marilyn

    Hello Gordon! The phrase we used at work when things were overwhelming was “drinking from the fire hose”. Much heathered progress to be seen, good job, this is going to be another classic beauty.
    @Jane: Congratulations indeed- that wee gansey is adorable.

    Carry on- tea and chocolate is a good combo for knitting, my drugs of choice; sugar and caffeine, yay.

    • Gordon

      Bonjour Marilyn!

      As far as I’m concerned “drinking from the fire hose” is something that should only be practiced between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes. (Or maybe I should stop going online late at night so much?)

      Of course chocolate is one of the staple foods essential to life—indeed, for many of us it justifies the discovery of America by Europe, though of course offset by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—but rather to my own surprise I have found I love good bread more. Either I’m finally growing up, or I’m turning into everything I always hated. Or, of course, both!

  • Jane

    Impressive progress on the gansey, nice to see the pattern stand out so well and beautiful colour. This has the look of a really lovely garment. I like the pattern very much, it is very pleasant to look at.

    My favourite saying is “worse things happen at sea”, I find it quite comforting in trying times, storms, high winds, power failure, torrential rain, etc, etc, you wouldn’t think we lived on the South Coast! I will say those South-Westerlies can be very nasty! The garden is very quiet, a bit subdued really, but there is a definite sound of creatures munching.

    Thank you for your kind inclusion of the little gansey, and thank you Marilyn for your kind words. It was a very enjoyable knit! Stay warm and dry!

    • Gordon

      Hi Jane,

      I know worse things happen at sea, I just wish the sea would stay in its place and stop dropping on us from the clouds quite so much! But I found when we lived in Wales and near Taunton that it was wetter than the east coast of Scotland; but at least we didn’t need to burn boy scouts to stay warm as we do up here… It’s already dark by 4.30pm now; it’s like living in an Ingmar Bergman movie!

      Congratulations again on the red ganseyette—only another 18 months till the next one, I expect…?

  • Christa

    Impressive progress indeed. I am knitting with frangipani (heather) too. started it 2 years ago I think? Okay, I allways get easily distracted: socks, Dutch fisherman sweaters (two) another sweater for DD and so on. Now I decided to finish MINE. I knitted for a couple of hours yesterday and had to stop because the tips of both my indexfingers were really sore. My needles must be thinner than 2mm. The needlepoints are very pointy, that’s for sure. Anyways: how do you Do it! Knitting so fast. I really envy you….
    Love your posts and will continue reading them with pleasure!
    Groetjes, Christa

    • Gordon

      Hello Christa, and nice to hear from you! I have the advantage over most knitters that I don’t do anything else, so I don’t get sidetracked into other projects—given that my other hobby is writing, gansey knitting is my excuse for not concentrating and doing the hard stuff. Plus of course it distracts me from the existential meaninglessness of my own existence, always a good thing!

      I know what you mean about sore fingers. Sometimes I get tight hands and find my fingers sort of clench up—that usually happens when I’m cold, I knit easier when I’m warm—and my technique can involve jabbing myself with the points more than is good for me. I’m probably so callused now i could invent my own martial art of fingertip karate!

      With all good wishes,

  • Deb Gillanders aka Propagansey

    I’ve been thinking for some time that Propagansey should have its own website so I’m off down the street to do something about it very shortly .. thought I’d Google Gansey & peek at what others are doing & discovered 2 things; one, the really nice wee red Gansey/Duffle (Ganfle? Duffsey?) coat on your website & second that another new website has used a significant number of my images without mentioning or asking. What would you suggest as my culturally acceptable options?

    • Gordon

      Hello Deb,

      I’m afraid there’s not a lot you can do when someone pinches your images on the internet. The first step is of course to write to them and ask them to either stop it or at least credit you and link to your site (it depends how strongly you feel about it, because they may be doing it innocently, and a link can get you more traffic to your own site).

      I remember the first time this happened to me, when quite a well known site used one of my images as its home page, and i mentioned it jokingly in my blog as being a bit cheeky; the person responsible happened to read my blog and was mortified! It had all happened innocently enough, they credited me until they had another image they could use, and we’ve got along famously ever since.

      If you do write to them and get no joy, another option would be to post on Facebook and Revelry, and other forums, that this has happened—name and shame, basically. (I’m a little uncomfortable about going too far down this route, as it could lead to the people responsible being targeted with hate mail—the internet is a bit wild west at times—and I wouldn’t want to escalate thing so far.)

      But sadly, the reality seems to be that if you post images online, they’re out of your hands and control. You can’t stop people lifting them—all you can do is make sure they’re a low enough resolution that they can’t be reproduced in any quality. You can try watermarking, but that’s messy and detracts from your own pictures. You can fill in metadata, but it can always be stripped out.

      Anyway—best of luck with your website. Not before time, as we’d all agree! Please let me know when it goes live, and I’ll make sure we link to it from our site.

      Kind regards,

      • Deb Gillanders aka Propagansey

        Hi Gordon, Thanks for replying. Directly after trawling the web to get an idea of what other folks are doing with their websites, ie directly after spotting a lot of very familiar images, I went round to the web-designer’s house & he had a look – pointed out it wasn’t a website but a lot of web-images of Ganseys. H’m. OK. You can see it – Google Gansey & look for Whitby Ganseys. However I still want to track ’em down .. this is a very recent thing & I hear a stall has been taken on the local Xmas market by an outfit with the same name. I think I know who it is & I applaud their energy & I understand about stuff being out in the public domain but it suddenly makes me want to pull my finger out. The only amusing thing so far has been someone talking about this market & saying they’d assumed that stall was me – so I am on folks’ radar..

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